Homeschooling While Mom Goes to College: Part II

I posted awhile back, at the beginning of my 1st year back in college, about how we were coping as a family with the challenge of attending school while teaching. Going back and reading it, I can see that I was so full of hope and excitement for what was to come. And then the reality and weight of the situation began to settle in…

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Taking classes online through ASU is like taking those dreaded summer classes ALL YEAR LONG. They are short in length, but they cover the same material that the semester-long classes do, and you take 4 or 5 of them per semester. I had one 8 week class covering 6 books, one of which was an anthology. Finding time to read all that material, plus write papers, take tests, attend discussions, and study – it’s just sick. Sick, sick, sick.

Here’s where I tell you that I love it.

That’s probably more sick.

While I love going to school, I’m also keeping house, trying to be a decent wife, and raising/homeschooling my four kids. After Fall semester, I felt pretty good about life, and we’d done so much that I felt super-human: I packed our massive house, we moved to Chicago, I wrapped up my last months of reviewing for The Old Schoolhouse, unpacked into a new place, and I finished my novel (I’m in the process of looking for an agent right now, and I’m really excited about it!).

Now, I’m at a point where if I think about the future too long, I kind of want to heave. There’s so much more hard work ahead of me.

Back to homeschooling, we’ve been chugging along just fine. Every day we do the same subjects, and my kids are all making progress. We’ve finished books and started new curriculum, but it feels really overwhelming when I look at the big picture. We’re not spontaneous anymore, and we don’t do as many new, fun things as we used to.

Should you consider going to college while you homeschool/How do I do it?

The truth is, I’m doing it one day at a time, just like anything else. I try to figure out what we can get done in one day, and I aim for that. I have long term plans for my school and my writing, but I can only do things one day at a time. I keep my eye on the prize, but I try to not get caught up on how many steps lie between me and it. If I do, I will freak out. Anyone can do things one day at a time. It’s a matter of doing what you can and trusting God with the rest. There’s also some heavy prioritizing going on. School comes first for both my kids and myself. If I want to work on my fiction, I have to have all the schooling out of the way first. If my kids want to take a day to go to the park, we have to be caught up or ahead before I commit to a half of a day away from home. It’s not the same casual way that I started out homeschooling, but this is the only way it’s going to work out for us right now.

If you want to do something big, you might will have to re-arrange the rest of your life around it. How bad do you want it? How important is it to the rest of your life? How will it affect your family and friends? You? These are all things I asked myself, and I knew when I was done answering them, that this was what I wanted to do. You’ll know.

If you want anything in life bad enough, you’ll nearly kill yourself to get it. Now, I’m not advocating working yourself to the bone for your whole life because you need to take care of yourself too. I am saying that things are possible. Just because you have a busy life, doesn’t mean you can’t homeschool if you really want to. Just because you homeschool, doesn’t mean you can’t get an education also. It’s do-able. Hard, but do-able.

Did you have to re-arrange your life in order to homeschool? In order to go to college? Comments always welcome below!

 

 

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